It’s no fun when invasive species like zebra mussels, Eurasian water milfoil, or Asian carp show up in a new body of water. But beating them back is a blast with the new game, “Whac-A-Mussel,” which launches Feb. 24-26 at the BASSMASTER Classic Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in Shreveport, La.
The game plays just like the arcade classic Whac-A-Mole, but fiberglass zebra mussel caricatures pop up the holes and people “mash the mussels” to demonstrate their disdain for the mollusk invaders. At the same time, anglers learn lessons about how they can Inspect – Clean – Dry to stop the spread of not just invasive mussels, but all sorts of aquatic nuisance species.
“Invasive species education is critical,” said Teeg Stouffer, Recycled Fish Executive Director. “But it can be kind of dry and boring. Just say the words ‘Invasive Species Education’ to people and watch their eyes glaze over. This is a learning tool that is fun, dynamic, engaging and interactive – it cuts through the clutter. We’re excited to introduce Whac-A-Mussel at the BASSMASTER Classic!”
There’s more on the line than fun and education. Just for playing, people will score prizes like Grabber Hand Warmers or Mardi Gras inspired beads from DICK’S Sporting Goods. The top adult player will win a pair of Patagonia’s new aluminum bar Rock Grip Wading Boots, designed to help stem the spread of invasive species while providing excellent traction in challenging wading conditions. The top youth player will win a Recycled Fish shirt signed by dozens of professional anglers and fishing legends.
Whac-A-Mussel is made possible through the partnership support of DICK’S Sporting Goods, The Mississippi River Basin Panel, and Fishhound with Recycled Fish and Clean Angling.
The fight against invaders doesn’t stop with the game, however.
National Invasive Species Awareness Week kicks off Feb. 26, and the Classic serves as the the “pre-party.”
To extend the impact beyond the visitors at the BASSMASTER Classic, Fishhound will launch a new column featuring a 10-week educational series specifically focused on invasive species.
“Look forward to crazy stories about some of the most interesting people and fishing opportunities in North America,” said Jon Storm, Fishhound Content Director. “Each story will land back at how we fight invasive species, but these are surprising stories that will get people fired up.”
Go here to read about Recycled Fish and its work to engage, educate and equip anglers to be stewards of our waters.
Funding for the project also comes from the Mississippi River Basin Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species.